A CELEBRATION of mass takes place at Motherwell Cathedral tomorrow (Thursday) to mark the end of the Pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI.
The Bishop of Motherwell Joseph Devine is inviting people of all denominations to join him at 7pm for this Diocesan celebration.
The mass is one of thanksgiving for the Petrine Ministry of the Pope over nearly eight years of service to the Universal Church and to pray for God’s blessing on the years ahead for Pope Benedict.
This will also be an opportunity to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as the process to elect the next Pope begins.
Bishop Devine said: “At a time when, particularly in Europe, Christians bearing witness to their faith are openly denounced, ridiculed or discriminated against Pope Benedict has proved to be one of Christendom’s great heroes and led by example.
“He represented strong, self-confident Christianity and urged Christians to take a courageous stand against aggressive atheism and secularism.
“He charged us to champion religious freedom and remain firm in the face of powerful anti-Christian intimidation forever encouraging us to proclaim Christ’s teaching with confidence.
“He was an excellent shepherd, not asking us to politicise our faith or impose theocracy, but rather to defend our freedom to answer Christ’s call to serve others. Let us gather to celebrate Benedict’s Christian leadership and pray that others will follow in his footsteps.”